HTML _ IB95016 - Pesticide Policy Issues
4-Dec-1996; Linda-Jo Schierow; 11 p.

Abstract: On August 3, 1996, President Clinton signed P.L. 104-170, which contains significant amendments to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). Although it does not repeal the Delaney Clause, the new law removes pesticide residues from its purview. It requires EPA to set ¨safe¨ tolerances for residues of pesticides on both raw and processed food to provide ¨a reasonable certainty of no harm¨ from exposure to the pesticide residue, other dietary residues, and non-food sources. It also will expedite pesticide registration under FIFRA for minor uses; improve data collection on the effect of pesticides in children's diets; and prohibit states from regulating food based on pesticide residue concentrations below recently established federal tolerances. FIFRA governs the manufacture, sale, and use of pesticides; FFDCA controls pesticide residues in or on food. FIFRA requires EPA to register new pesticides and to reregister older pesticides. This is a challenge given the thousands of pesticide formulations made from 590 different active ingredients for which manufacturers have requested reregistration. FIFRA requires EPA to complete reregistration by 1997, but 2004 is the Agency's expected completion date. EPA has stated that it needs to collect additional fees to support the effort. P.L. 104-170 will provide such fees. Cancellation of a registration, when a pesticide use is found to cause ¨unreasonable adverse effects,¨ can be a prolonged process. H.R. 1627, as introduced, would have revised the cancellation process, but these provisions were not retained in the enrolled bill. In 1994, EPA instituted a special review of the widely used herbicide atrazine; special reviews often lead to new restrictions or cancellation of pesticide uses. Some question whether new restrictions are needed to protect public health. A preliminary decision is expected in 1997. P.L. 104-170 will not halt the atrazine review, but it may affect the registration decision. Registrations of some minor-use pesticides have been voluntarily canceled when manufacturers believed the cost of registration was too high given the expected profits. P.L. 104-170 provides incentives and removes obstacles to maintain registration of such pesticides. Other issues in the 104th Congress concerned a scheduled ban on methyl bromide production, state and tribal pesticide enforcement funding, EPA's worker protection rule, pesticide exports, inspections of imported food, the FFDCA standard for potentially cancer-causing pesticide residues in processed food (the Delaney Clause), and federal preemption of state and local food safety laws. P.L. 104-170 provides funding for additional monitoring of pesticide residues in domestic and imported food, and it directs EPA to regulate all food under the amended safety standard of FFDCA Section 408 rather than under Section 409 (containing the Delaney Clause.) [read report]

Topics: Pesticides

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